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Best-performing US ETFs in 2021

Top US ETFs of 2021

Looking for big earners? Check out which US ETFs have delivered the highest year-to-date returns.

Sponsored by CMC Markets (AFSL 238054), Winner: Best Overall Share Trading Platform, Finder Investment Awards 2021. Access domestic and international shares with $0 brokerage on US, UK, Canada & Japan shares.

Eager to diversify your portfolio to include US Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)? It's a popular move made by many Aussie investors and for good reason.

The S&P 500 has rallied this year, climbing 785.81 points YTD and enjoying impressive growth of 21.23%. Look further back and it's clear just how incredible returns have been.

Since the market crash in March 2020, the S&P 500 has grown by 109.53%, jumping 2,345.30 points. Investors who were brave enough to buy at the pandemic's outset could have more than doubled their money in less than 2 years. No wonder US stocks are so appealing.

There's also been a surge in low-fee trading platforms in recent years, giving Australian investors easy and affordable access to overseas markets. For example, CMC Markets (which was crowned best overall Share Trading Platform in the 2021 Finder investment awards) offers $0 brokerage fees across US, UK, Canadian and Japanese stocks.

The trend towards affordable and accessible platforms means Australians of all trading levels can enter overseas markets in search of potentially lucrative trading and investing opportunities.

So, which US ETFs have shown the most potential? While past performance isn't indicative of future results, nobody can deny that it's fascinating to know which funds have outshone the majority.

Here are the top 10 performing US ETFs in 2021 – as of October.

SymbolETF nameYTD returnsAnnual dividend yield
GUSHDirexion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exp. & Prod. Bull 2X Shares141.21%0.07%
NRGUMicroSectors U.S. Big Oil Index 3X Leveraged ETN135.47%0.00%
BNKUMicroSectors U.S. Big Banks Index 3X Leveraged ETNs116.80%0.00%
RETLDirexion Daily Retail Bull 3X Shares106.68%0.01%
FCGFirst Trust Natural Gas ETF92.79%1.74%
FASDirexion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares90.93%0.41%
DIGProShares Ultra Oil & Gas89.74%2.43%
HIBLDirexion Daily S&P 500 High Beta Bull 3X Shares88.70%0.07%
PXEInvesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF88.39%2.51%
DPSTDirexion Daily Regional Banks Bull 3X Shares87.99%0.60%
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involve substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors, particularly those who cannot afford to lose the money deposited without a material impact on their standard of living. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

Interestingly, 4 of the top 5 ETFs are leveraged, which means they're typically better suited to short-term trades as opposed to longer-term investments. Traders interested in leveraged ETFs should also be wary of the amplified risk associated with leveraged investments.

While lucrative returns are possible over relatively short time frames, the nature of leveraged ETFs mean they also expose traders to significantly increased risk should a prediction go awry.

Invest in and trade US ETFs with CMC Markets

Compare other online trading platforms here

Name Product Price per trade Inactivity fee Asset class International
CMC Invest
Finder Award
CMC Invest
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, US shares, ETFs
$0 brokerage on US, UK, Canadian and Japanese markets (FX spreads apply).
Trade over 45,000 shares and ETFs from Australia and 15 major global markets. Plus, buy Aussie shares or ETFs for $0 brokerage up to $1,000 (First buy order of each security, each day - excludes margin loan settled trades).
CMC Markets disclaimer: Trades on all international securities are subject to FX spreads. Investing in CMC Markets derivative products carries significant risks and is not suitable for all investors. You do not own, or have any interest in, the underlying assets. We recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before trading. Spreads may widen dependent on liquidity and market volatility. The information on this website is prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consequently, you should consider the information in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs.CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty Ltd ABN 11 100 058 213, AFSL No. 238054 (the derivative product issuer), CMC Markets Stockbroking Limited, Participant of the ASX Group (Australian Securities Exchange) and SSX (Sydney Stock Exchange) and Chi-X (Chi-X Australia), ABN 69 081 002 851, AFSL No. 246381 (the stockbroking services provider) provides the financial products and/or services.It's important for you to consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement ('PDS') or Information Memorandum (for CMC Pro accounts) and any other relevant CMC Markets documents before you decide whether or not to acquire any of the financial products. Please also refer to our Financial Services Guide and Information Memorandum (for CMC Pro accounts) containing details of our fees and charges and, if applicable, our Target Market Determinations for CFD products and Exchange Traded Options. All of these documents are available at or you can call us on 1300 303 888.
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